Every Bird Matters
news and views from international bird rescue

Posts Tagged ‘Cormorants’

June 8, 2009

New video on rescued cormorant chicks & eggs

After being plucked from a huge utility towers in the South San Francisco Bay, double-crested cormorant chicks are being reared and eggs incubated at IBRRC’s bird center in Northern California.

This is the second time we have raised and rehabilitated baby cormorants from eggs. Last year, we raised a small batch of cormorants and had about a 60 percent release rate of wild, healthy juvenile cormorants.

One of our longtime volunteers, Jean, shot this video. Here’s her description:

In the beginning of the video, you can see our large egg incubator. Next you see the youngest chicks, several days old, being fed in an incubator in our ICU unit. They are born naked and blind, but now their eyes are beginning to open. To avoid habituation with humans, we put on a black cape before we feed the chicks. As the one behind the camera, I am also wearing a cape.

The next video clips show increasingly older chicks. The oldest ones in this video were taken from an outdoor cage in a special section of our Pelican Aviary to one of the inside cages, where they will spend the night.

July 30, 2008

Happy Babies: Cormorant video

Last month a handful of double-crested cormorant eggs were saved from nesting next to powerlines near the Dumbarton Bridge near Palo Alto, CA. After being rescued and rushed to IBRRC in Fairfield, five of them survived after hatching. They were raised by staff and kept wild.
You can see the babies in this video:

Michelle Bellizzi, IBRRC’s Rehabilitation Manager in Northern California says:

Because cormorants aren’t precocial like many other waterbirds, they required handfeeding for several weeks, and the risk of imprinting and/or habituation was fairly high. To keep them wild, we used a “Kormorant Kostume” and Cormorant puppet to feed them up to 6 times a day. They heard the soothing sounds of a cormorant colony (procured by a wonderful volunteer who visited the cormorant colony at Lake Merritt in Oakland) day and night to familiarize them with the natural sounds of their elders.

WildCare in Marin has graciously “lent” us their non-releasable education cormorants to serve as surrogates, so that the baby cormorants are able to see wild adult cormorants in action. The babies are currently in an aviary that mimics closely their natural habitat (without the power lines) – they’re in with birds that they usually nest around: pelicans, gulls, and other cormorants. We hope that they’re ready for release in mid/late August.